Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Executive summary of “Exploring key antecedents of purchase intentions within different services”
Article Type: Executive summary and implications for managers and executives From: Journal of Services Marketing, Volume 28, Issue 7
This summary has been provided to allow managers and executives a rapid appreciation of the content of the article. Those with a particular interest in the topic covered may then read the article in toto to take advantage of the more comprehensive description of the research undertaken and its results to get the full benefit of the material present.
Competitive environments impose increasing pressures on managers to enhance customer satisfaction and purchase intentions, and those managers need to understand which marketing activities are contextually relevant and how and in what ways they can be applied.
Practitioners will have read a myriad of papers about service quality, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, purchase intentions, differentiation, servicescapes and the like, but getting to grips with how these concepts might affect one another, and to what degree, can lead to plenty of head-scratching. For example, where, how and to what extent does the service orientation of employees, or the physical environment, have on the basic need to get people to part with their money?
Managers under pressure to succeed need answers to questions such as: How does the customer view advertising campaign familiarity? Are there other indirect effects of marketing stimuli on purchase intention that may have been overlooked? If these stimuli are related to consumer perceptions of service quality and if satisfaction is inextricably linked with purchase intention, then how does the entire set of these stimuli relate to each other? Additionally, if these stimuli are related to service quality and satisfaction, which one (service quality versus satisfaction) has the more powerful influence on purchase intention?
In “Exploring key antecedents of purchase intentions within different services”, Dr Hong-Youl Ha et al. investigate the relationships between marketing stimuli and customer loyalty in South Korean service industries – namely, banks and supermarkets – and compare those relationships with other mediating factors in relation to purchase intentions. Their results indicate that service-oriented employee behavior and the physical environment have no direct effect on purchase intentions. However, these constructs indirectly influence purchase intentions through the mediating role of service quality and customer satisfaction. Service-oriented employee behaviors play a major role in enhancing service quality and customer satisfaction, but do not directly impact purchase intentions.
The strongest direct effect on purchase intentions is more likely to come from service quality, rather than satisfaction. The finding of an insignificant relationship between advertising campaign familiarity and service quality in both service sectors studied suggest that people’s service quality perceptions are based on their experience, rather than on simple advertising campaigns. That is, the effect of advertising campaign familiarity on service quality is very limited and consumers seem to be forming their service quality perceptions via other means in both industries. As a result, managers should evaluate other ways of designing and implementing advertising campaigns that have a clearer purpose in terms of advertising strategy and message.
The effect of service-oriented employee behavior on service quality is, in fact, greater than the influence of physical environment. Considering the crucial role these employee behaviors play in linking a service firm with its customers and in building relationships, the power of service-oriented employee behavior suggests that customers feel much better when any service is delivered by human beings, rather than via the physical environment. Therefore, the role of service-oriented employee behavior recognizes important consequences associated with the customer-management interface.
Physical environment is significantly related to service quality in both industries. While creating a good environment is necessary for customers, its role in purchase intentions is limited. One valuable finding here is that this construct plays an indirect role in improving customer satisfaction through service quality in both the banking and supermarket industries. Perhaps, physical environment can reduce the complexity of service offerings (e.g. intangibility, simultaneous delivery and consumption and variability) which influence perceptions of service quality.
The results reveal that service quality indirectly (via satisfaction) influences repurchase intentions. Previous research points out that the strongest direct effect on behavioral intentions comes from satisfaction, but in this study, the strongest direct effect on purchasing intentions is more likely to come from service quality, rather than satisfaction. These results suggest interesting differences across Korean service sectors.
The authors’ analysis indicates strongly that the relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction is not always supported and may depend upon service context. This may be linked to the notion of inseparability. Even though the shared responsibility literature emphasizes the importance of perceptions of interdependence between customer and service provider for successful exchanges, perceptions of shared responsibility may characterize a different level of service exchanges.
For example, in comparison to the supermarket context, this relationship may be weaker in the banking context because most customers are likely to use smart banking services using the Internet or smartphones as opposed to physical banking locations. In comparison, retail supermarkets are still physical entities that involve frequent customer visits to physical stores, thus elevating the importance of physical environment for them.
As perceptions of service quality may vary across service sectors, practitioners need to perceive key issues through customer-focused eyes. For example, a better understanding of changes in transaction share (traditional versus digital transactions) is crucial for successful exchanges and underpins service performance.
To read the full article enter 10.1108/JSM-01-2013-0025 into your search engine.
(A précis of the article “Exploring key antecedents of purchase intentions within different services”. Supplied by Marketing Consultants for Emerald.)